The Death of a Disco Dancer
A novel by David Clark
"Funny, poignant, and hopeful. Clark takes Mormon literary fiction another big step forward."
—Richard Cracroft, emeritus professor of English, BYU
One night, eleven-year-old Todd Whitman receives a terrifying but hilarious midnight visitor: his cockatoo-plumed, dementia-stricken, John Travolta-smitten Grandma Carter. In constant nocturnal search of the mysterious "Dancer," Grandma clutches her absurdly precious Saturday Night Fever album cover and giggles her way through the dance steps of her youth.
When forty-something Todd returns home to help his dying mother, he reflects on that pivotal summer of 1981: the unique relationship he developed with his grandmother, the chaos of finding his place in a large Mormon family, the near misses of impressing the one-and-only Jenny Gillette, and the utter social catastrophe of junior high.
Ultimately, despite the ups and downs of life, Todd finds peace and strength through the selfless and dedicated lives of his grandmother and mother.
"Clark vividly captures the perils and joys of early adolescence in the 1980s. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this novel is a meditation on the meaning of sacrifice and the transforming responsibility of familial love."
—Angela Hallstrom, author of Bound on Earth
"Clark perfectly captures the torture and hilarity of navigating adolescence and the perpetual change of family ties. Simply beautiful."
—Bridget Verhaaren, cofounder, theliteratemother.org